“The greatest hazard of all, losing oneself, can occur very quickly in the world, as if it were nothing at all.” Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was born on May 5th, 1813, and passed away on November 11, 1855, in Denmark, and has been considered as the Father of Existentialism. In a great Wikipedia article they defined him as: “he wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, Morality, Ethics, Psychology and the Philosophy of Religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables.” In his times there was a big emphasis on the Cartesian evaluation of Religion, highlighting its rational and communal aspects to better Mankind in general. But Kierkegaard was interested in a much smaller dimension, the one that traverses the daily lives of each and every one of us making choices that may lead to significant future changes of the same.
Last week we discussed in earnest how it was so critically important for Health Care practitioners of all genders to choose very wisely their life companion and partner. We have borne his protracted SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the calamitous effects of so many months of Social Distancing, which we are only starting to see at the social, political, economic levels and public health seared an indelible scar on our minds. Imagine that each and every citizen of the planet has been methodically herded into an alley abutting to a cattle chute, where we have been all marked by Death itself. We pray for the Salvation of all those relatives and friends that succumbed but, above all, we pray for all of us who were left around for the next Walking Dead’s casting.
Note. This image form of Dublin’s Famine Memorial was taken from Wikimedia Commons.
The other day we came across in a Miami street with a colleague of ours from Columbia University that went into Intensive Care Medicine as a sub-specialty. He looked like he had put on, not 10 years since we last casually met, but rather some 40 years. He noticed our indiscreet staring and asked us: “So I look that bad to you, eh? And how about you? When was the last time you faced the mirror?” He was absolutely right as we, physicians, and nurses, do not dare to gaze into it lately.
However, we can make our sorry state of affairs even worse, much worse. How? For starters if the Health Care authorities continue to negate or minimize the existence of an extremely serious Mental Health epidemic in our ranks, especially for female colleagues. And if those deadbeat politicians in Washington D.C, continue their disgraceful pandering in search of votes by endorsing any wacky conspiracy theory.
As our Pope Francis said: “Either we come together out of this one or we do not.”
Brothers and sisters, let us not lose ourselves. We still got much more Life Ahead.
Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Do not leave me alone.